4 Seriously Underrated Ab Exercises

High Threshold Single-Arm Plank

Sure, the plank isn’t “underrated,” but it’s a great exercise for building baseline core stability. “If you can’t maintain a neutral spine while performing a plank, you’ll most certainly compromise your positioning when under the load of a barbell,” Richter says.

Once you’ve mastered the basic forearm plank, try adding the high threshold single-arm plank suggested by Mark Demchak, MS, ATC, PES, an athletic trainer with Northwestern Medicine Athletic Training and Sports Performance Clinic in Illinois.

  • Start in a modified knee push-up position with arms extended under shoulders, core tight and body straight from head to knees.
  • Lift right hand from the ground, touch opposite shoulder.
  • Lift both knees off the ground into single-arm plank position. Hold for three to five seconds, then lower knees back to the floor, followed by hand.
  • Repeat on the opposite side, and continue alternating, completing a total of two to three sets of five repetitions per side.